2019 – 2020 Call for Papers: Senses in Archaeology

**Please note that our time has changed. We will now meet on Wednesdays from 4:30 – 6:00 PM.**

The Interdisciplinary Archaeology Workshop is now accepting submissions for the 2019-2020 academic year!

Fall quarter deadline: October 7, 2019.

Proposals accepted on a rolling basis for the year.

Looking to gather feedback on a conference paper or a chapter you’ve been working on? Found something interesting during fieldwork this year? The Interdisciplinary Archaeology Workshop is now accepting submissions for the 2019-2020 academic year. With an engaged group of participants from departments across the University, IAW provides a space for discussion of archaeological works and material culture.

This year, our theme, Senses in Archaeology, aims to bring attention to the physical artifacts that we study, and how we study them. By focusing on senses and sensory experiences relating to objects, spaces and practices, we aim to explore ancient and modern perceptions, representations and interactions in both landscapes and built environments. We’re calling for presentations that touch upon that theme, and we’re flexible on format, whether you’d like to submit a paper beforehand, give a presentation, or show analyses in process.

If you are interested in presenting a paper or an ongoing analysis to IAW, please contact Kelsey Rooney (karooney@uchicago.edu) or Suay Erkusoz (serkusoz@uchicago.edu) with the following information:



Year in program

Paper title

Type of paper (e.g., dissertation chapter, MA paper, conference paper)

A short abstract or summary

The quarter(s) in which you are able to present (if more than one, please list your preferences in ranked order, and we will do our best to accommodate)

Spring 2019 Schedule

Schedule for Spring 2019

April 4: Sandy Hunter (PhD Candidate, Anthropology), “Periodizing Andean Colonialism: Working Across Epistemologies in the Sacred Valley”


April 18: Mike Johnson (PhD Candidate, NELC), “The Arts and Crafts of Not Being Governed: Can Technological Style Inform on Population Relations? A case study from Tell Atchana, Ancient Alalakh”


May 2: Günther Schörner (Faculty Member, Institut für Klassische Archäologie, Universität Wien), Title TBA

co-sponsored with the Ancient Societies Workshop


May 16: Margaret Andrews (Assistant Professor, History), Title TBA





Please note that all meetings will be held at 4:30pm in Haskell 315 unless otherwise specified.

Winter 2019 Schedule

January 10: Rebecca Graff (Assistant Professor of Anthropology, Lake Forest College), “The Vanishing City and the Enduring Home: Archaeology of Chicago’s 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition and the Charnley House”

January 17: Haeden Stewart (PhD Candidate, Anthropology), “In the Shadow of Industry: Toxic Legacies of Mill Creek Ravine”

February 12: Scott MacEachern (Professor of Social Science, Duke Kunshan University), “Hamaji’ and Terrorism: Boko Haram and Deep Histories of Frontier Violence in Central Africa”  Co-sponsored with African Studies Workshop

February 28: Sam Harris (PhD Candidate, NELC), “Domestic Economy at Tell Surezha, Iraq”

March 5: Oren Siegel (PhD Candidate, NELC), “Borders in the Ancient Egyptian World”



Please note that all meetings will be held at 4:30pm in Haskell 315 unless otherwise specified.


18th October: Phil Watson (PhD Student, Anthropology) “Human-Object Identification and the Landscape of Greekness”
8th November: Monica Phillips (PhD Student, NELC)
29th November: Seth Richardson (Oriental Institute)
6th December: Johanna A. Pacyga (PhD Candidate, Anthropology) “Building the Spaces and Structures of Mission”

Winter 2018 Schedule

11th January Mannat Johal (PhD Student, Anthropology) “Ceramics in the archive, ceramics as archive: Thinking with pots and their fragments in ‘medieval’ India” Discussant: Emma Gilheany
18th January Jim Johnson (Postdoctoral Researcher, University of Copenhagen) “The Political Lives of Inorganic Bodies? Biopolitics, Pottery and Social Change in the Bronze Age Eurasian Steppe, 2100 – 900 BC”
8th February Joana Konova (PhD Student, Art History) “Reuse of Ancient Sculpture in Late Renaissance Rome”
15th February Meredith Chesson (Associate Professor, University of Notre Dame) “The Materiality of Homemaking in EBA III Numayra, Jordan”
22nd February Emily Boak (Heritage Analyst, Oriental Institute) “Imperial Eyes Over Afghanistan”
8th March Sandy Hunter (PhD Student, Anthropology) “Investigating Labor and Consumption in Colonial Cusco: An NSF Proposal”

Fall 2017 Schedule

All events take place at 5 pm in Haskell 315 unless otherwise noted.  Please email Emma or Akiva for papers.
12th October Notes from the Field Pub Night at “The Pub” (Basement of Ida Noyes Hall, 1212 E. 59th Street) at 5pm
19th October Francois Richard (Associate Professor, Anthropology) Leading a discussion on this year’s workshop theme of “Materiality”
26th October Kirsten Forsberg (PhD student, Anthropology) Presenting “Rendering the Visible Child: Examining Childhood through a Subadult Burial Context at Tombouze, Mali”
2nd November Ilona Zsolnay (2016-2018 Oriental Institute Postdoctoral Fellow and Penn Museum Consulting Scholar, Babylonian Section) Presenting in the LaSalle Banks Room, Oriental Institute“Judging a Cuneiform Tablet by its Proverbial Cover”
16th November Joe Bonni (PhD student, Anthropology) Presenting a chapter from his dissertation “Everything is Full of Gods: Representing Religion at the Edges of Empires”
30th November Omur Harmanşah presenting on “The Materiality of Isis”

IAW 2017 Call For Papers: Materiality

Interdisciplinary Archaeology Workshop: 2017-2018

Call for Papers: Materiality

The Interdisciplinary Archaeology Workshop is now accepting submissions for the 2017-2018 academic year. This workshop was founded as the primary point of substantive intellectual engagement for scholars interested in the method and practice of archaeology, and the nature of archaeological knowledge. The theme for the IAW this year is “Materiality”.

The IAW welcomes papers that broadly explore the theme of materiality: epistemologically, conceptually, or methodologically.  Recently, the concept of materiality has gained has found its way into much of contemporary archaeological literature, but its meanings are multiple and multiply contentious. “Material” and its capacities to serve as evidence of and create the conditions for human life of various sorts can be said to be an object of study for all archaeologists.  The ways in which the particular properties of material objects, created through the affordances of different materials, and processes of production, use and decay, interact with one another and shape human life is perhaps the most common appeal to this concept in recent literature.  The IAW invites case studies of this sort from scholars from various disciplines.  In other appeals to this concept, a more holistic reconsideration of the relationships between people and things is attempted.  In this vein, the IAW seeks to be a space where we can discuss all that “materiality” or “materiality studies” makes possible or forecloses: questions of agency, ethics, politics, co-constitutedness and “concreteness”, actor networks, infrastructure and decay, are all tangled up in questions of materiality.  Through readings of contemporary and foundational literature and case studies provided by our speakers, we hope to open constructive and direct conversations about this topic over the course of a year of shared investigation and collective thought.


How does using materiality as an analytic allow us to make the strange familiar or the familiar strange? How do “new” materialisms transform or reaffirm “old” materialisms? Where are lines drawn between materials, material culture, and materiality? What archaeological methods can be productive for thinking through these questions? What unconventional methodologies or practices can be generative in these considerations?  How can materiality figure into the ways in which we understand the written word and the writing of human history?  How does the analytic use of materiality redefine what it means to be a human in the world, particularly with regards to anything we might say is uniquely human?  How does it redefine the ideas of causality, intention, motivation, and choice?  Are these redefinitions that we would like to see and is materiality a viable and productive tool without them?

Scholars from any and all disciplines are encouraged to submit papers. Please also note that we embrace papers that touch on materiality peripherally, unconventionally, or experimentally.

If you would like to workshop a paper with us sometime next year, please send an email to Emma Gilheany (Gilheany@uchicago.edu) and Akiva Sanders (Sandersa@uchicago.edu) with the following information:

  • Paper title
  • Type of paper (e.g., dissertation chapter, MA paper)
  • An abstract of no more than 250 words
  • The quarter(s) in which you are able to present (if more than one, please list your preferences in ranked order).